Pakistan opens immigration centre at Kartarpur border for Sikh pilgrim
04 December 2018
Pakistan has established an immigration centre at the Kartarpur border to facilitate Sikh pilgrimage from India to Darbar Sahib, the holiest of Sikh Gurudwaras, in Pakistan’s Kartarpur across the border.
The move comes after the groundbreaking of the landmark corridor for Sikh pilgrims that will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district in India to Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev’s final resting place in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, fulfilling a long-pending demand of the Sikh community.
Since the border crossing could be an easy target for “terrorists, human traffickers and drug dealers”, a strong mechanism was required to keep the situation under control on both sides of the border, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Deputy Director (Punjab) Mufakhar Adeel said.
“The FIA has set up an immigration office at Kartarpur border in Narowal (some 120 kms from Lahore) in connection with the opening of Kartarpur corridor,” the Dawn quoted Adeel as saying.
“The FIA officers will play the role of boarding officers and check the documents of Sikh pilgrims and identify them through biometric technology. Sikh pilgrims having visas will be allowed to enter the city while those with permits will be given access to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib only,” he said.
On November 28, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor.
On November 26, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Gurdaspur.
Khan said that his government and the army wanted a “civilised relationship” with India, declaring that Islamabad would move two steps forward if New Delhi took one step.
Khan cited examples of France and Germany which fought many wars but eventually came closer for the welfare of their people.
Pakistan assured that it will keep improving the Kartarpur corridor and provide maximum facilities to the pilgrims when they visit in November 2019 to celebrate Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.